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Strange i.e. problem

I'm currently debugging a friends comp who has this most annoying problem.
He can connect to the internet, chat on msn and use netmeeting but internet explorer will not load any web-pages. It gives the error "Internet Explorer could not open the search page"- for every page.

Microsoft says (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q219004):
This site is really useful (not):
This issue can occur if your Internet Explorer connection
settings are not configured properly, or if you are
not currently connected to the Internet.
Situation: He was having problems with his internal modem (something about dialup sounds) and so he switched to an external modem which works. The internet worked normally and then about a day later the errors appeared and web-pages wouldn't load.

Could there be any relation?
Microsoft just says to check settings but I think they're right and he didn't change them so...

Any ideas?


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Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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